Beautiful Girls Reviews
The best performances for me was from O'Donnell, Hutton, and Portman. Although Huttons' character creeped me out a bit. If you've seen the movie or plan to, you will understand why.
Not an amazing movie, but it was good enough for my tastes. I would watch it again. "
I remember loving Paul's slam poetry ode to supermodels (how "they're bottled promise...hope dancing in stiletto heels" and how that's as good as love), but something in Michael Rapaport's faux-gangsta posture and gait seems stilted, as if he wasn't completely sold on his character's near sociopathic rant of genius. I also remember loving Willie's meditation on thirteen-year-old Marty (how she will blossom into awesomeness in ten years and that he'd wait for her), but the cinematography is too staid and the effect of the moving monologue whispers pedophilia before it whispers, say...imprinting (ala Twilight werewolves). I also also remember loving Mo's raving, nonsensical battle cry, "YOU FUCK WITH ME, YOU FUCK WITH YOU! YOU GO TO THE FOUNTAIN, YOU DRINK? YOU DON'T DRINK!" but the loud audio makes it difficult to hear actual words.
All in all, a damn shame cuz the coming-of-middle-age story is quite beautiful, and the young Natalie Portman as Marty is indeed precocious and magnetic.
This movie is barely watchable. The musical interludes between scenes are annoyingly long, the drama feels contrived (though not as much as the "heartwarming" moments including the gruelling full-cast sing-along to Sweet Caroline), and I didn't care about any of the characters. Rosie O'Donnell running her loud mouth? Imagine... I think she's playing herself. (There's a reason I don't watch The View...) Even Uma Thurman couldn't save this bland script filled out by a particularly lifeless Matt Dillon and Mira Sorvino, the untalented Lauren Holly, the more-one-dimensionally-annoying than ever Michael Rappaport and the very, very, very poor (think homeless) man's John Travolta, Timothy Hutton. (When you're a clone of someone who already sucks, it's bad, Tim.)
If Natalie Portman's performance can break away from the rest of the cast AT THE AGE OF 14, there's something wrong... Though it might sell itself as an "ensemble cast", it's little more than a support group excercise for B-list actors. They spent all their money on song rights, too many sets and one good actor (Thurman), and as a result, I don't think they could afford any writers.
While it wasn't without its moments, the most interesting thing about this film is that it wasn't a made-for-TV movie. Simply awful.
I find that as I get older, the less I appreciate films "aimed" at younger audiences. I'm 35 ( as of this writing) and for me, most "teen" comedies are insufferable, and those that are about twenty-somethings are gradually sliding into that category as well. I begin to wonder: Is it me? Do I just not get it? Is it just my age?
Then, I pull out my DVD of Beautiful Girls, which reminds me that when movies are good, it doesn't matter how old you -- or the characters -- are.
We come to know the characters, we come to care about what is happening, and we even forgive them some of their shortcomings. They seem like people we might know. It's not easy to do that in a movie. Director Ted Demme sets just the right pace, and lets the story unfold as a sequence of humanly unpredictable events.
The dialog is natural and easy. There are several scenes of enjoyable, realistic dialog that don't particularly forward the plot in any direction -- these scenes (like Timothy Hutton's scene with Uma Thurmann in the Ice Fishing shack) lend depth to the characters by letting them say what a person might actually say. And thus the story seems natural and unforced.
The film takes place over the course of, oh, I'd say about 2-3 weeks. How much growing up have you done over the last 2 -3 weeks?
This is a great movie and well worth checking out.